Chocolate truffles are one of the nicest presents you can give someone (especially if they love chocolate as much as I do!). They’re also a nice alternative at Easter time, providing a really personal touch compared to a shop bought egg. This recipe makes around 30-35 truffles if you have about a teaspoon-sized ball for the filling – and you don’t eat too much along the way.
I recommend using the best chocolate possible. It’s not just about the cocoa percentage as different brands and bean types taste very different. I use dark chocolate, minimum 63% and upwards, because I prefer the taste. If that’s a little too bitter for you, substitute a good high cocoa milk bar or mix a few chocolate types together to find a flavour you like.
Basic Truffle Recipe
|Stage 1 – the inside||Stage 2 – the coating||Stage 3 – the topping|
|200g dark chocolate (min. 63% cocoa), roughly chopped/broken into pieces 120 ml (1/2 cup) double cream||200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped / broken into pieces||Choose 1 of the below:|
Sea salt flakes
Chopped toasted nuts
Toasted sesame seeds
Crushed cacao nibs
Crushed pink peppercorns
Freeze dried raspberry / strawberry pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract (not essence!)
1 tsp sea salt or himalayan pink salt
To spice things up, you can add one of the below to your filling once the chocolate has fully melted:
Stage 1: the inside (ganache)
In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil for 1 minute. Take it off the heat and let it cool for a minute or 2. If you’re using vanilla extract and salt, stir them in at this point.
Put your chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour over the cream. Mix (preferably with a wooden spoon) until the chocolate melts, and is smooth and glossy. Let the ganache cool to room temperature, cover and pop in the fridge for a couple of hours (or until it’s malleable enough to handle).
Get a baking tray and cover it with baking parchment. Grab your ganache from the fridge and scoop out teaspoon sized balls, rolling lightly if your hands to make them nice and round. Put the balls on your lined tray.
– You can stop at this stage and roll your truffle in a coating such as cacao powder, desiccated coconut, crushed cacao nibs or chopped toasted nuts.
– I like to add salt to enhance the flavour. It’s not essential, but even a small pinch normally helps.
– Try and work with cold hands for the rolling. It can get messy, so just wash your hands when you need to.
Stage 2: the coating
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until it melts. Once the chocolate is fully melted, remove the bowl from the saucepan.
Now it’s time to dip! With either dipping tools or a fork, lower your ganache ball into the melted chocolate. Turn the ball over a few times to cover.
Slide your fork under the ball to lift it out. Holding the truffle over the bowl, give the fork handle a gentle tap against the bowl rim to shake off any excess chocolate. Carefully place the coated truffle back onto the lined tray to set.
– If you want to go the extra mile, you can temper your chocolate for a nice glossy finish. Check out The Guardian site for tips on tempering.
– It’s worth investing in some dipping tools if you’re doing this regularly. I’d suggest a dipping fork with thin prongs or one of the round spiral ones, which is what I normally use for truffles.
Stage 3: the topping
The final step is to add a topping of your choice. There are suggestions in the list at the beginning of my post, but you could also leave your truffles as they are. Either way, leave the truffles to set at room temperature.
Store your truffles in an airtight container. They’ll be good for about a week – but I find they don’t often last that long.
– Your filling should be at room temperature, but if it’s still a little cool the chocolate coating will set quickly. I sometimes dip a few balls and then sprinkle over toppings, rather than them coating all and adding toppings.
– Truffles can get little puddles around the base (‘feet’). If you want to, just remove these with a sharp knife.
– It’s best not to store chocolate in the fridge, unless you live somewhere really warm, as it can cause chocolate ‘bloom’ (those white streaks or blotchy bits you see on chocolate).